Posted on: Tuesday, December 1st, 2020
Since 1981, the Government of Alberta had designated November 25, 2020, as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The United Nations General Assembly recognized this day in 2000 and invited others to raise awareness around gender-based violence on this day every year. A definition the UN General assembly defined violence against women as, “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life”.
This topic is so important to talk about right now as the reports and data have shown all types of violence, especially domestic violence, has increased against women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic. Domestic violence can be greatly unreported due to the possibility their abuser could not be held accountable, feeling silenced, feeling shame around the abuse or that others will not believe them.
In fighting this stigma, we must remember that if a woman shares with you that they are experiencing any form of violence, make sure to listen and assure them you believe them. Creating a safety plan and/or plan to get out of the situation may be needed, especially if the woman and/or children are also at risk. Provide resources this woman can access such as the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter, Connect Family & Sexual Abuse Network, and Alberta Works-Support for Albertans Fleeing Abuse.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and you are in need of further support, please contact us at Journey Counselling, or if you are in need of immediate emergency assistance, please call 911 or the Distress Centre.